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Job vacancies: waiters wanted in France’s post-Covid employment boom

Warehouse workers, kitchen staff and technical sales people are also in demand, with promises of better pay

It is estimated that three-quarters of restaurants in France are looking for waiters Pic: Elena Dijour / Shutterstock

Some 4.5 million new jobs will be available in France by October 2023, according to figures from Adecco-Analytics, a research company attached to the Adecco employment agency.

Hotels and restaurants are among main recruiters.

Experience not essential

Franck Delvau, president of the Union des Métiers et des Industries de l’Hôtellerie for Paris and Ile de France, told The Connexion: “The first thing we are looking for is savoir-être (interpersonal skills), and after that, savoir-faire.

“That is, we are keen to find motivated people who will turn up for shifts and are prepared to work at weekends and in the evening, even if they have no training and little experience.

“There is also the possibility of rapid promotion. 

“You can start as a waiter, move to manager of a terrace, and then to front of house quickly, with accompanying pay rises if you are keen.”

Adecco-Analytics expects 43% of job opportunities in 2023 will be permanent posts (CDI contracts) and 30% will be time-limited (CDD contracts). The rest is likely to be agency work on interim contracts.

Unemployment remains high

At the same time, unemployment remains high in France, with around 2.3 million people looking for a job (7.4% of the working population), according to the government statistics agency Insee.

Read more: Labour shortage: France plans to tighten unemployment benefit rules

Adecco says it will partner with organisations trying to get the long-term unemployed back into work.

In a list of the 20 most in-demand jobs, waiters are on top, followed by warehouse workers and kitchen staff.

Many companies will probably be looking for technical sales people too, the research shows.

Adecco-Analytics estimates three-quarters of restaurants in France are looking for waiters, with Paris and its surrounds where most of the jobs will be found, followed by Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

Covid problems

Mr Delvau said the employee shortage was being felt in the industry even before Covid hit.

During lockdowns, some restaurants were unable to put staff who were not on CDI contracts on the government’s chômage partiel scheme, where 80% of salaries were paid.

“Many establishments found staff did not want to come back because they had found other work,” he said.

“And at the same time, some longstanding workers found getting back into the rhythm hard, and have either gone part-time or left the industry altogether.”

Read more: A record 520,000 workers in France resigned at the start of 2022

Wages in the industry were raised in April and now almost all serving and kitchen staff earn substantially more than the Smic minimum wage, said Mr Delvau.

“We had a tremendous tourist season in 2022 and everything suggests it will continue. If anyone wants it, the work is there.”

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